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UBA Posts 18% Growth In Earnings As Profit Hits N44.5bn

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Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has released its unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31st, 2022, recording impressive growth across its income lines.

The bank’s result which was released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday showed that gross earnings rose by 18.3% from N155.4 billion in 2021 to N183.9 billion; while operating income which stood at N106.6 billion as at March 2021, grew by N18% to N125.9 billion in the year under consideration.

The results revealed that the bank’s total assets also rose by 4.1% to N8.9 trillion in the period under review, compared to N8.5 trillion recorded at the end of the 2021 financial year; while shareholders’ funds grew by 2.6% to N825.7bn from N804.8 billion in the same period.

Leveraging on the growth in both interest and non-interest income, the bank’s profit before tax rose to N44.5 billion as at March 2022, up from N40.6 billion a year earlier, while profit after tax stood at N41.5 billion. As always, UBA sustained its strong profitability recording an annualized 20.4% Return on Average Equity (RoAE).

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, explained that despite the myriad of economic challenges on the global front which shaped the first three months of the year, the bank’s business model continued to show resilience.

These challenges among others, he noted include the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine that has resulted in a huge supply shock, pushing up commodity prices; and the hike in the interest rates in most advanced countries aimed at tackling spiralling inflation, sparking capital flow reversal from emerging and frontier markets.

“Notwithstanding these developments, we were able to leverage gains from our large customer base and vast geographical spread to bolster earnings. We recorded double-digit growth of 18 percent in our gross earnings to N183.9 billion, with our Nigerian operation raking in 65 percent of the revenue while our operations in other countries accounted for the remainder, showing the diversity in our operations,” Uzoka said.

The GMD pointed out that amid the “Great Resignation” wave that has seen a record number of employees across the globe quit their jobs, disrupting the performance of many businesses, UBA, in the last quarter of 2021, thoughtfully reviewed upwards, the salaries of its staff as part of broad measures to retain talents, adding, “We believe our staff is part of our success story with their welfare as a top priority.”

Emphasising the bank’s commitment to sustain value for its shareholders in the 2022 financial year, the GMD said, “With strategies in place to further increase revenue and drive cost lower, we are determined to achieve our Cost-to-Income ratio target of below 60.0% by year-end; and for 2022, we are committed to consolidating on the strong start, surpassing our goals and targets, as we look forward to delivering stronger returns to our esteemed shareholders.

Breaking down the figures, UBA’s Group Chief Finance Officer(GCFO), Ugo Nwaghodoh, said, “Our Q1’22 financial numbers show we are off with a good start. Particularly, 1 am pleased with how we deployed our balance sheet in the period to grow revenues and increase our market share in a number of West African markets. Driven majorly by interest from customer loans and our investments in long-dated instruments, we grew interest income by an unprecedented quarterly rate of 15 percent to N125.1 billion.

“We drove down our annualized cost of funds by 11 basis points to 2.1%. This was achieved despite the uptick in the interest rate environment in the period,” the GCFO said.

He expressed confidence that the bank will meet and surpass its target for the remaining three quarters of the year, adding that “We remain well-capitalized and liquid to fulfil our growth strategy, take up opportunities in key sectors, whilst navigating impending macroeconomic headwinds.”

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five (25) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints in 20 African countries. With a presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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Contempt: Again, court commits EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to prison

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has been committed to prison for allegedly disobeying court order.

The court also directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to effect Bawa’s arrest and remand him in Kuje prison for the next 14 days until he purges himself of the contempt.

Justice R.O. Ayoola of the Kogi State High Court, in his judgement on Monday, granted the application for committal to prison of the EFCC chairman for disobeying a court ruling delivered on November 30, 2022, wherein the EFCC chairman was directed to produce the applicant in the case, Ali Bello.

Ali Bello had dragged Bawa to court for arresting and detaining him illegally, with the court ruling in his favour, only for the EFCC to arraign him for alleged money laundering three days after the ruling.

The EFCC’s applications for setting aside and stay of execution of the ruling were refused for want of merit.

The Court had, in Form 49, Order IX, Rule 13, marked, “HCL/697M/2022” and titled, “Notice to Show Cause Why Order of Committal Should not be Made,” asked the EFCC Chairman to appear before it on January 18, 2022 to explain why he should not be jailed for flouting the order given on December 12, 2022 in a case filed by Ali Bello against the EFCC and Bawa, as the 1st and 2nd respondents, respectively.

The court ordered that the EFCC and Bawa be served the motion of notice together with Form 49 by substituted means.

The court had declared the arrest and detention of the applicant in the face of a subsisting court order made by a court of competent jurisdiction and without a warrant of arrest “or being informed of the offence for which he was arrested” as unlawful, unconstitutional, and in contravention of the personal liberty and dignity of human person guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The court had also ordered the respondents to tender an apology to the applicant in a national newspaper and awarded N10 million compensation for him.

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Court Jails Fidelity Bank MD, Onyeali-Ikpe, Bank’s Secretary.. (CTC documents attached)

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A Chief Magistrate Court at Ogba, Lagos on Monday morning sentenced the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nneka Chinwe Onyeali-Ikpe to six weeks imprisonment over disobedience of a garnishee order of court restraining the bank from allowing a judgment debtor access to his account.

 

Joined with the Managing Director to serve the imprisonment is the Company Secretary of the bank, Ezinwa Unuigboje.

 

Magistrate Lateef Owolabi gave the sentence sequel to a garnishee order he gave on December 6, 2022 asking 16 banks not to allow a judgment debtor, Prince Enabulele Ozaze access to his bank accounts pending the payment of N2.8 million judgment debt in suit involving the sale of a Toyota Corolla car.

 

 

In the main suit, Magistrate Owolabi had given judgment on October 13, 2022 in favour of the plaintiff, Jibrin Ahmed who sued the defendant over the payment of N2.8 million he made to the defendant for the purchase of a Toyota Corolla car. Magistrate Owolabi in the judgment said that the claim before the court is summons used in action for debt or liquidated money demand with or without interest. Liquidated demand, according to him, is one ascertainable as a matter of arithmetic precision without further investigation.

He then said: “I have examined the whole process filed by the claimant and hold that the claimant is entitled to judgment not necessarily because the defendant is absent, but because the claimant has made a case worthy of being entitled to judgment. The totalities of evidence presented are relevant and reliable”.

 

There magistrate thereafter entered judgment against the defendant in the sum of N2.8 million which is due to the claimant over the transaction that took place in July 2022.

 

In order to reap the fruit of the judgment, the claimant’s lawyer, Alayo Akanbi filed a garnishe proceeding before the court and attached 17 banks, and asked the court to stop the banks from allowing the defendant to draw money from his accounts with them pending the liquidation of the debt. The garnishe order was granted on December 6, 2022.

 

However, on January 25, 2023, the claimant, now judgment creditor deposed to an affidavit before the court where he showed that the garnishe order have been flouted by Fidelity bank. He showed instances of how the judgment debtor had been withdrawing funds from his account to the extent that he had depleted the funds in his account with Fidelity bank. He claimed that the judgment debtor has N3, 165, 759.05k in his account with Fidelity bank as at January 12, 2023 when the garnishe order was served on the bank.

 

By January 15, three days after service, the judgment debtor had withdrawn N725,547.80k from the account. The following day, January 16, 2023, another N251,305.90 was transferred out of the bank. On January 17, the legal officer of the bank Obianuju Nwosu confirmed service on the bank as at December 22, 2022 and further apologized for the transactions on the account.

 

On January 18, 2023, the court ordered that ordered that the Managing Director, and Company Secretary to appear in person before the court to explain why they should not be committed to prison for allowing the judgment debtor to dissipate the funds in his account after the service of the garnishe order nisi.

 

At proceeding on Monday February 6, the Managing Director and Company were not in court as ordered. Lawyer to the judgment creditor told the court how the two had disobeyed the garnishe order of the court.

 

Magistrate Owolabi in his ruling sentenced the Managing Director and Company Secretary to six weeks imprisonment each. He further ordered Lagos State Commissioner of Police and any officer under his command to arrest the duo, bring them to court for onward transfer to the appropriate correctional center.

 

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Petition signatures to Emefiele over new naira hit 1653..

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Petition signatures to Emefiele over new naira hit 1653

 

Following the crisis over the non-availability of the redesigned N100, N200, N500 and N1000, over 1653 Nigerians have petitioned the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to end what they termed ‘hardship’ on the citizens.

 

The petition, hoisted on the global change website, change.org, which was started on Friday, garnered over 1653 signatures on Saturday.

 

As of the time of filing this report, many bank customers have yet to access the new notes as many automated teller machines are either not dispensing cash or completely shut down because of the crowd.

 

Protests have erupted over the situation in some parts of the country and some banks vandalised by hoodlums, demanding access to their money lodged in several accounts.

 

 

 

There have also been controversial videos showing bank officials sabotaging the process by hiding the new notes behind old ones in vaults.

 

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has requested seven days from Nigerians to fix the mess.

 

Part of the petition stated, “The recent shortage of physical cash in Nigeria has caused major untold hardship to Nigerians. People are spending hours in long lines at banks just to withdraw cash, and many are forced to rely more on digital transactions which tend to be unreliable due to poor bank networks.

 

POS operators also charge outrageous amounts; as much as N1000 for a N10,000 withdrawal. The Central Bank of Nigeria has stated that the shortage is temporary, but it is causing serious disruption to the daily lives of many Nigerians.

 

“We call on the government, stakeholders, law enforcement agencies and the CBN to take urgent action to address the cash shortage crisis in Nigeria. We demand that the CBN increase the distribution of physical cash to meet the demand, and also any POS operator found charging outrageous amounts for withdrawal should be arrested.’’

 

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students has expressed displeasure over the issue, noting that the process was not only ill-timed but also not well thought out.

 

Speaking to Sunday PUNCH during a telephone interview on Friday, National Vice President (External Affairs), Akinteye Afeez-Babatunde, said, “The whole situation is crazy. We are tired. Students are crying and complaining. They can’t get cash. The leaders have confirmed to us that they don’t care for the people. The policy is fine but the process to get it done is to the detriment of our own lives as Nigerians. Our day-to-day activities have been disrupted. Nigerians are suffering.’

 

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